Strawberries were on sale this week. Naturally, being the selective shopper that I am I picked up a pint (bushel, quart, peck, whatever it is) and slipped them into my cart. Getting home, being the intelligent refrigeration connoisseur I am I put them into the fridge.
And there they remained. Days went by and I did not touch the—even days when I had a craving for fruit, looked at my banana tree, saw no bananas and opened the fridge. I looked in the fridge saw no apples, no oranges, no peaches, and even the oft-ignored ruby red grapefruit was gone. I settled on a tiny glass of orange juice just to take the edge off.
And today I realized that after days of fruit hunting I had ignored the strawberries. Never mind that they were sitting right in front of my eyes the whole time. I mentally blocked them out. And I could not figure out why. More on this later.
About twenty minutes ago I realized that strange feeling I had in my stomach was the end result of a strawberry binge. The same strawberries I had previously ignored were now irresistible to me and I consumed the batch voraciously and without remorse.
The difference, of course, was location and convenience. This second set of strawberries were pre-washed, set on the counter pleasantly displayed in a sharp, black, trendy Ikea bowl. At the risk of sounding irreverent, they would be hard to resist on a hunger strike.
And in contemplating this dichotomy, I realized that the only reason I ignored them before was because deep down I did not want to go through the labor of washing the strawberries. Apparently I was prepared to let them rot in the fridge because I could not fathom washing them.
I don’t really have enough time here to delve into all the other considerations. Should I have proverbially pitted them of their green turnip-kin top? Would that have enhanced their sex appeal (answer: I hope not, because as it stands I cannot resist them). What is that top for? Can I eat them without any harm except for the bitterness? Is that the same stuff lettuce is made from? These are the things I spend my time wondering but not making the effort to answer.
So, I realized, that if I want to get my fill of fruits and I am out of the single serve variety (apples, peaches, pears, plums, mango, etc) or the pre-made bite size ones (raisins, dried apricots, etc) just wash something and set it on the counter. Pretty soon it will be irresistible.
In a way, my kitchen served to illustrate Malcom Gladwell’s tipping point theory (or the feigned principles of groupon . . . both of which I highly recommend). Only the only action required of me was to wash them and set them on the counter.